Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Stop the cross talk and interruptions in the debates

Note to the Commission on Presidential Debates:

When candidates talk over and interrupt each other, the whole purpose of the debate — to communicate and inform — is utterly lost.

What the audience hears is verbal static. What it witnesses is rude behavior. Interruptions are like throwing spit wads in the classroom.

My reaction is to walk away from the whole thing. Thousands of others likely have the same reaction. 

And that is exactly what the Commission wants to avoid.

The solution to the problem is obvious: classroom management.

The moderator should have the power to warn and admonish an interrupter/cross talker. If the warning is disregarded, the moderator should be empowered to deduct time from the interrupter’s time to speak.

Those rules should be agreed to in advance by the participants and their campaigns. Agreement is for the good of all: the participants, the Commission and the viewing public.

For the record, the two biggest offenders in the debates so far have been Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine.

Finally, I can find no way to communicate with the Commission to press my concern and share my solution. The Commission’s web site http:// has no “contact” link. That too is a barrier to communication that Commission must address — for the good of all.

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